For Hurting Hearts and Barely Burning Spirits

Behold my servant, whom I uphold,

my chosen, in whom my soul delights;

I have put my Spirit upon him;

he will bring justice to the nations.

He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice,

or make it heard in the street;

a bruised reed he will not break,

and a faintly burning wick he will not quench;

he will faithfully bring forth justice. (Isaiah 42:1-3)

The prophet Isaiah portrays God’s chosen One – the coming Messiah – as one who will set things straight in such a way that no undue harm is done – no “collateral damage” (to borrow a terrible euphemism). He brings justice to the nations faithfully not through fanatical force, but through spiritual sacrifice.

When Jesus of Nazareth entered Jerusalem, people formed a spontaneous parade — waving palm branches and crying out “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” (Matthew 21:9). They believe Jesus was their kind of Messiah – one who would lead an army to conquer Roman rule with military might and re-establish Israel as God’s kingdom on earth.

But the kingdom of Christ was not of this world. His mission was not to overthrow a government and his method was not to kill. His mission was to release captive hearts and his method was to die.

God does not force faith on anyone. God knows our hearts are like bruised reeds, our spirits like faintly burning wicks.  Instead of compelling us to believe and thereby destroying our souls, God gently offered up His son to accept the punishment for our sin. Christ died so we might live.

As we begin our Delight in Disorder mission in the coming days, it is essential to keep Christ’s Messianic mission and method firmly in our minds.  People with mental illnesses have been bruised by false accusations and wrongful judgments not just from the world, but from Christians as well. The Bible has been used as a weapon against already deeply wounded souls — and there has been terrible harm done in the name of Christ.

Please pray with me that our Delight in Disorder mission would bring the the healing of Christ and not break hurting hearts or quench barely burning spirits.

from Ethelyn

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